Marketing shenanigans of big Big BIG companies

It’s inevitable.

One day it’s going to happen.

To you. To me. To everyone.


Misunderstandings between friends. Family. Even customers.

They can be devastating and end a relationship.

Or they can be cleared up in seconds.

And in the case of corporations a couple of things can happen.

They can lose a lot of sales & we get a huge laugh out of them.

Here’s a few examples of what I mean.

In 1987, KFC opened their first restaurant in Beijing, China.

Everything went well except for their famous slogan, “Finger-lickin’ good!” It translated to “We’ll eat your fingers off!”

Nice huh?

Or how about Coors?

This giant US beer maker thought their cool “Turn it loose!” slogan would translate well into Spanish.

It didn’t (though that totally depends on what you thought of their product in the first place). “Turn it loose!”, they found out (a little too late) translated to “Suffers from diarrhea!”

Okay, I’ve got one more.

This time from the hair company best known as Clairol.

In 2006 they introduced a great new product.

A curling iron called the “Mist Stick”.

That sucker sold well all over the States.

In Germany? Not so much.


Oh, maybe because the word “mist” in German means “manure”.

Is it any wonder the manure stick never sold well in the land of Lederhosen?

All these examples point out one important fact.

Marketing messages can be misinterpreted.

Not just when they get translated from one language to another.

It can even happen here in North America with people speaking English.

Take for instance a company that manufactures a product called Sheets®. Sheets® are paper-thin, individually wrapped pocket-sized strips.

You put them on your tongue and they give you a burst of energy.

Sounds good so far, right?

Here’s is where it gets a bit dicey.

It makes you wonder if the company did it on purpose to go viral.

Or if it was, in fact, a complete fail.

What happened was the company put an ad up on a billboard.

On it was the face of female swimmer complete with cap, towel and goggles.

The slogan? “I take a sheet in the pool”.

Under that was the line “Sheets® Energy Strips.”

Deliberate or not?

I say yes – but I don’t know for sure.

Either way I think the marketing message was lost.

And if you’re a small business you can’t afford to have your message misunderstood.

So what’s your marketing message?

Is it clear?

Is it prone to be interpreted in a way you never expected?

Sure it might make sense to you, but have you ever tested it out?

Tested it by asking people to explain what they heard?

Could your message be better targeted? Better expressed? LESS BORING?

You never know until you ask people about it.

Sometimes you can get really surprised at the feedback.

Speaking of feedback.

It seems our Presidential Sale is a pretty big hit.

We’re quickly moving out a lot of our overstock equipment.

People have been calling to let me know they love how the lowest prices they have ever seen is making it easier for them to afford RugBadger equipment to build their business .

No misunderstandings there!

Stephen Dusty Roberts